5/8 to 1 ½ inch in length. Wide, oval and flat body. Some species can fly. Vary in color from brown, reddish or black.
Most active at night. Some produce odorous secretions creating an unpleasant odor when populations are high. Prefer warm and humid environments such as cracks and crevices. Although they are not social insects, they are often found in groups while resting, hiding or feeding.
Omnivorous. Eat almost anything – starch foodstuffs, meat, sweets, grease, cheese, beer, paper products, plants, leather, etc.
Depending on species, females produces 4 to 90 egg capsules in their lifetime each containing 14 to 48 eggs. The nymphs emerge from the capsule as smaller versions of the adult.
Known to cause asthma. Some species also known as water bugs.